Wit beer recipe alteration.

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flexfit115

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Bought a Belgian wit extract with specialty gains kit, I want to add lemon grass, the kit came with bitter orange, coriander, and cumin. (not so sure about the cumin). But should a not add the cumin, and just the lemon grass and when should I add it to the boil? Thanks for the help!
 

TimTrone

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Cumin? That's new to me

Usually it's best to add the spices towards the end of the boil. With 5 minutes remaining or so.
 
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flexfit115

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I thought so too. I'm going to leave it out, and just add my lemon grass.
 

TimTrone

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I think the lemongrass will be a nice touch.

Has anyone heard of using cumin? I use cumin sometimes when I cook, but I can't imagine it tasting good in a wit.
 
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Maybe adding the lemon grass as a tea at bottling would give you a better control over the flavor. Infact if you are using the Belgian wit yeast and ferment it at the upper end of the range you will get a nice tartness
 
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That will get you a nice tart finish to it. I do think adding the lemon grass in a tea at bottling will give you a cleaner flavor and allow you to get it just right. You can also adjust the other spices that way.
 

mountainman13

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I use 3944 on my Wits and it usually takes about a month just for the krausen to fall. After that I give it another week. So worth the wait.
 
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I have not had that yeast take so long to ferment. If you make a 1ltr starter and ferment it at 70 to 72F you should hit your final gravity in a week. Just make sure you oxygenate the work really well. I normally secondarymine for 2 weeks or until it clears up a bit. Then keg it but I like to use priming sugar
 

HollywoodMX

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5 weeks is too long for this style imo. 2.5-3 is perfect w/liquid yeast, starter preferred though. Its better young I find.
 

Nyrkki

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In radical brewing the author says that Hoegaarden claims to use cummin. He doesn't seem to think that it is true, and proposes chammomile instead. I have never used cummin, but I can see great potential. Be careful with the lemongrass. You don't want to over do it. I always put coriander at the very end of the boil 30 seconds or so. Otherwise you will get tannins from the shells.
 
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Yeah cumin is BS. If you base your recipe off the original Hoegarrden it the spices are bitter orange, coriander and camomile. And the yeast plays a huge role in the process. Fermenting it warm is really the key to getting the yeast to do its thing. In general Belgian strains like it really warm some of the abby strains will stop fermenting if they dip below 60F. It is really hard to get the correct body, texture and flavor of this beer unless you do AG and do it correctly for the style.
 
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flexfit115

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I did not put the cumin in, just the Lemmon grass towards the end of the boil. And it is setting at 68 to 70 degrees. So 2 to 3 weeks it should be good?
 
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You never know 100% when you should rack it out of the fermenter with out knowing that the final gravity is. With the recipe it should give you a number to shoot for when you are at that number and it doesn't change for 2 to 3 days you can rack it into your secondary. If you want to just go directly into bottles or a keg from the primary you can.
 
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flexfit115

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If my brew after a week or so is at the final gravity
Or less, do I gain any benefit from keeping it in the fermenter for the 2 to 3 weeks?
 
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Leaving the beer on the yeast can help clean up some of the off flavors. I would say no more then a week. But wits are small beers ment to be drunk fresh. If you don't over do the spices you don't need months for them mellow.
 

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